The stories of broken hearts and abandoned children are at the heart of Love Has Come For You.
Review by David Feltman
Comedians, by nature, can be hard to take serious, but funny man Steve Martin has proved to be a bit of a Renaissance man. Aside from his long comedy career, Martin has been responsible for the notable novella and later movie “Shopgirl,” picked up a Grammy for his first solo bluegrass album, The Crow, and created the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass. His latest release, Love Has Come For You with folk songstress Edie Brickell is definitely nothing to laugh at. Well, mostly.
Brickell’s husky twang is an ideal partner to Martin’s strolling banjo lines. Most of the arrangements are wisely kept tight and sparse so when the duo decides to open things up, the impact is more stirring. The stand out duet “Yes She Did” is beautiful in its Spartan brevity and perfectly sets up the lush harmonies and sprawling scope of “Sarah Jane and the Iron Mountain Baby.”
The lines, “When you get to Asheville, send me an email. Tell me how you’re doing, how it’s treating you,” open the album, mixing old fashion sentiment with modern trappings. Brickell’s lyrics consistently meld the old and new, offering vivid and interesting storytelling. The stories of broken hearts and abandoned children are at the heart of Love Has Come For You, but there is a sense of hope and humor that colors her depictions of rural life. “You know my creepy cousin with the handlebar mustache?” sings Brickell on “Shawnee,” “He opened up a cola then he sat down on my lap.”
For an album consisting primarily of vocals and banjo, Martin and Brickell find a surprisingly rich sound. The music and the storytelling are more than enough to fill out the album. There are no cast-off tracks here. Love Has Come For You is by turns witty and heartbreaking and definitely worth seeking out.